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HTC Criticizes Apple for Lack of iPhone 5S Innovation

by Brandon Russell | September 10, 2013September 10, 2013 6:00 pm PST

HTC One VS Apple iPhone 5-Speakers

Nokia isn’t the only one trying to goad the passionate Apple masses. In a blog post on Tuesday, following Apple’s iPhone 5S / iPhone 5C announcement, HTC’s Ben Ho accused the Cupertino company of being a follower, calling Apple “a supposed market leader.” Supposed, as in the company’s worldwide market share and consistent quarterly performance aren’t enough to constitute market leader status. Ho sure doesn’t mince words, even if there’s no denying that, yes, Apple is, in fact, one of today’s top market leaders, and well ahead of HTC.

On big event days, particularly ones involving Apple, competitors and PR folks are quick to come out swinging, even if the companies are clearly attempting to swing above their weight. In the case of HTC, Ho says today is merely a confirmation that HTC is clearly superior, and was first to pioneer the use of metal in smartphones. This, too, is questionable seeing as the iPhone 5 was released months before the HTC One.

“We’re proving that true innovation is still possible in an industry dominated by a duopoly that is simply running out of ideas,” Ho writes. “HTC has a proud history of breakthroughs and firsts. Earlier this year we changed the industry yet again with the acclaimed HTC One.”

While the device may have introduced neat concepts, such as BoomSound, BlinkFeed and its UltraPixel camera, Apple’s iPhone 5 is still much more popular; it also has a terrific camera that’s arguably still one of the best on the market. But perhaps one of Ho’s more curious accusations is “the iPhone looks the same” argument.

There’s no denying that the iPhone 5S sports the same design as the iPhone 5—we expected that—and those untrained won’t be able to tell the difference; the new Touch ID home button is subtle, and the dual-LED flash is barely noticeable. But that really shouldn’t be a criticism when HTC introduced the One X, and then followed that up with the One X+—both largely similar designs. Or even the Butterfly and Butterfly S (or HTC One, One Mini and maybe the One Max). How would Ho respond to those seemingly incremental devices?

“At HTC, change is who we are,” Ho says. “Change is what we do.”

But even change doesn’t lead to resounding success. So which company is doing it right?

HTC

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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